Is Wisconsin's corn crop in danger from global warming? One expert doesn't buy an Environment America report claiming global warming will cost farmers $1.4 billion every year in reduced corn production. "A lot of the conclusions they draw really, really stretch the evidence," says Dr. Matt Roberts, Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Developmental Economics at Ohio State University. Roberts says the study portrays "an unfamiliarity with the way agriculture works.
The study, released in Wisconsin last week through the group Wisconsin Environment, claims global warming will reduce corn yields, but Roberts says the study ignores the factor of supply and demand. "In years if it were true that this production were actually declining, we would see a price increase," says Roberts. "If production were actually higher as they said that it should have been, we would have seen prices fall and largely offset that. That right there shows a misunderstanding of how agricultural markets work."
Then, there's the fact corn yields have been increasing, not decreasing as the study claims. "The conclusion that the University of Illinois looked came to is actually very benevolent weather, that in fact the last ten or twelve years we've seen some of the most peaceful weather we've seen in the last hundred years," says Roberts. "From an agricultural perspective, weather is getting better."